Let’s stand together against torture: Join #HumansAgainstTorture

Torture can hit anyone, anywhere – women, men and children. It causes pain that will never go away. Governments have the means to stop torture but fail to use them. The onus therefore is on each and everyone of us to demand that torture stops. [Read more …]

Human Rights Defenders news


The world owes defenders, the heroes of human rights: Today OMCT’s Jilani

For the International Day of Human Rights, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) launches a ten-day tribute to the human rights heroes the world is indebted to for their life-long dedication to defending the rights of all. 

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December 9, 2016  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Statements

Syrian Arab Republic:  Abducted Activists’ Whereabouts Remain Unknown

The prominent Syrian human rights defenders Razan Zaitouneh, Samira Al-Khalil, Wa’el Hamada and Nazim Hammadi, who remain missing three years after armed men abducted them, should be released immediately, 56 human rights organizations said today, on the anniversary of their abduction.

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December 9, 2016  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Syrian Arab Republic

Kyrgyzstan:  Mounting pressure on human rights defenders as the Constitutional referendum approaches

In the run-up to the Constitutional referendum scheduled on December 11, 2016, women human rights defenders Tolekan Ismailova and Aziza Abdirasulova are subject to increasing pressure, verbal attacks and surveillance. The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH-OMCT partnership) calls the Kyrgyz authorities to ensure the physical integrity and security of human rights defenders and to stop harassment of critics of the referendum.

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December 9, 2016  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Kyrgyzstan

Cambodia:  Ongoing judicial harassment and arbitrary detention of Messrs. Ny Chakrya, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Ms. Lim Mony - #FreeThe5KH

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing judicial harassment and arbitrary detention of Mr. Ny Chakrya, former Head of the Human Rights and Monitoring Section of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and now Deputy Secretary-General of the National Election Committee (NEC), as well as of four ADHOC staff members, Messrs. Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Ms. Lim Mony. #FreeThe5KH

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December 9, 2016  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Cambodia

Egypt:  Arrest and release on bail of Azza Soliman

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the arrest of Ms. Azza Soliman, human rights lawyer and founder of the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Aid (CEWLA), an NGO that provides free legal, social, and psychological services to women and marginalized groups, and advocates for improved protections of their rights, and member of the Executive Committee of the WHRD MENA Coalition.

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December 8, 2016  |   Human Rights Defenders  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Egypt

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Azerbaijan: Joint Statement: Stop Crackdown on Freedom of Expression

December 6, 2016  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Azerbaijan

Venezuela: Consternación ante la desaparición y posterior ejecución de 12 personas en Barlovento por parte del Ejército

December 1, 2016  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Venezuela

Prominent Pakistani human rights defender Hina Jilani becomes new OMCT President

Hina Jilani, the newly elected President of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the face of challenging political rhetoric pledged to uphold human rights principles and convince the world that torture should never be used.

Ms. Jilani was elected to a four-year term on Saturday 26 November at the organization’s General Assembly meeting held every four years. Addressing OMCT partners and members of its SOS-Torture network of more than 200 non-governmental organizations around the world, she said she would focus on boosting its cohesion to make its voice louder.

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November 29, 2016  |  Statements

Fighting torture more necessary than ever, UN Human Rights Commissioner tells activists

Geneva, November 25 (OMCT) – Given the rising recourse to torture and of political narratives that condone or even incite it, fighting against this inhumane practice is more necessary than ever, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights told activists and human rights defenders at a World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) forum.

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November 25, 2016  |  Statements

Joint Open Letter to EU Authorities - RE: LAW TRAIN project aimed at harmonizing and sharing interrogation techniques between Israel, Belgium and Spain

As you may know, in its fifth periodic review on Israel published in June 2016, the UN Committee Against Torture denounced Israel’s uses of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as use of illegal practices during interrogations by the police and prison staff, in particular against Palestinians and migrants. The participation and allocation of funds to the Israel Ministry of Public Security through the LAW TRAIN project is therefore problematic as this entity is in charge of the national police and the prison services, both responsible for serious human rights violations.

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November 24, 2016  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms  |  Statements  |  Belgium, Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territory , Spain

DCI and OMCT launch the second edition of the Justice for Children Award

Defence for Children International (DCI) and the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) are launching today the second edition of the Justice for Children Award, which encourages research within European universities on the challenges within justice systems worldwide that slow the realization of children’s rights.  

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November 17, 2016  |   Rights of the Child  |  Statements

Bangladesh: Bangladesh Human Rights Report 2015

Human rights situation in Bangladesh has been dealt a severe blow by the controversial and farcical Parliamentary elections held on January 5, 2014. Disorder in the electoral systems in Bangladesh became more widespread after January 5, 2014. As a result, conducting a free, fair and neutral election has become almost impossible. Upazila Parishad elections in 2014 and City Corporations and Municipality elections in 2015 were marked by unlawful activities, including massive electoral rigging, ‘capturing’ of polling stations, casting of fake votes and violence. All these made the whole election process a farce.

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November 17, 2016  |  Statements  |  Bangladesh

Brazil: Violent killings of children deprived of liberty in Pernambuco

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The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Gabinete de Assessoria Jurídica às Organizações Populares (GAJOP) have been informed by reliable sources about the death in just one week (25-31 October 2016) of 11 teenagers during riots in two units of deprivation of liberty in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil.

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November 15, 2016  |   Rights of the Child  |  Urgent Interventions  |  Brazil

Sri Lanka: OMCT & GJC report to CAT: Sri Lankan laws condone torture of women and girls

November 14, 2016  |   Monitoring Protection Mechanisms, Violence against women  |  Statements  |  Sri Lanka

Seria preocupación ante detención y posterior desaparición de 13 personas en Acevedo, región de Barlovento, estado Miranda

November 4, 2016  |   Urgent campaigns  |  Urgent Interventions